There are mediation services available to help resolve conflict in business, employment, community, and family situations. Experienced, reputable mediators are usually certified and belong to a formal network such as the Professional Mediators’ Association. This organisation is open to mediators in the UK and beyond who are willing to adhere to rigorous practice standards.
There are two common areas of conflict resolution: family and workplace disputes. No matter what kind of conflict is being addressed, the basic steps are the same. The mediator allows each party to describe the problem and its impact on them without passing judgment. Then, the mediator works with the parties to find common ground on which they can agree in order to build a resolution that focuses on the future, rather than going over the past.
Family Conflict Resolution
Families working through a divorce can present some of the most challenging issues. In order to resolve child custody, financial, and property issues, the court often recommends that the parties engage the services of a mediation solicitor. This mediator is a qualified solicitor and also a certified mediator so he is well prepared for the process, understanding fully what compromises are acceptable and what agreements are within the scope of the legal system.
There are many advantages to mediation in this situation. It is a faster, less costly process than going to court. Because both parties have more direct input, there is a higher probability of a successful outcome. Also, an experienced solicitor is able to suggest options that would not have occurred to the conflicted parties.
It is inevitable that there is occasional conflict in the workplace where diverse employees are expected to work as a team, often in a stressful, demanding environment. Mediators are prepared to facilitate disputes between a manager and her employee, between colleagues, and even between a manager and a group of employees. Mediation can take place in either a unionised or a non unionised workplace.
A common reason for conflict in the workplace is a perceived show of favouritism such as an unexpected promotion. In such a case, there can be an immediate, acrimonious division of the work team, or a slow simmering of resentment. Either way, a mediator is probably the most effective way to recognize the seriousness of the situation.
Many organisations train someone in mediation so the process is based on an understanding of the company’s culture and policies. If the mediator is trained and there is good faith on both sides, there is a strong possibility of an agreement. Even if there is not immediate resolution, mediation services are invaluable in most conflict situations to outline various options for the parties.